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March 4, 2008

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, March 11

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKSDAN IN REAL LIFE2007; DVD $29.95, PG-13Steve Carell has been looking for his breakout film since ’91’s “Curly Sue.” This still ain’t it, but he’s on the right track. He plays a dedicated, if somewhat beaten-down, widower/single dad who has given up on his own life in favor of providing a stable home for his kids. Then he meets the wonderful Juliette Binoche in a bookstore, once again feeling a longing that he thought lost. Then he finds out she’s dating his brother (the annoying Dane Cook). Warm, funny and clever; worth a look.NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN2007; DVD $29.95, RThe Coen Brothers once again prove that the journey is far more important than the destination, as rancher Josh Brolin stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and walks away with a suitcase full of cash. Meanwhile, Sheriff Tommy Lee Jones moseys from clue to clue as assassins track Brolin across the American Southwest, leaving dead bodies in their wake. The worst of them, Javier Bardem, is a quiet, calculating enigma who survives by eliminating anyone who even looks in his direction. The ending may be frustrating but perfectly fits this ode to the inevitabilities in life.AUGUST RUSH2007; DVD $28.95, PGObviously a custom-written vehicle for wunderkind Freddie Highmore, this unabashedly warm and schmaltzy tale of the magical bond between parents and child borders on saccharin, but somehow stays on track. Highmore is an adopted musical prodigy who hears a song that brings him, penniless and alone, to NYC, where he believes his now-separated parents live. And through this song he believes they will find him. With Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Terrence Howard and a kinda icky Robin Williams.BATS: HUMAN HARVEST2007; DVD $24.95, RThis week’s screwy SciFi Channel stinker, filled with bad CGI and low-rent Slavik locals. A sequel-in-name-only to Lou Diamond Phillips’ 1991 “Bats,” this one finds a bunch of no-name actors stumbling through the “Afghani” enclave of a mad scientist who uses mutated bats to kill on command. Man! Do we love crap like this!BEE MOVIE2007; DVD $29.95-$39.95, PGThis vanity project from Jerry Seinfeld could have been a lot edgier with a PG-13 rating, but it still delivers some sly observations about life, relationships and careers through the adventures of Jerry — as a bee. After graduating college, he begins to regret his career, feeling like “just another drone,” and decides to see how humans do it with the help of florist Renee Zellweger. There he learns the shocking truth — humans eat honey!DEAD MOON RISING2008; DVD, URLouisville’s lovably loonie, locally-lensed look at life among the undead, featuring the Guinness Book of World Records’ “Largest Zombie Scene Ever Filmed.” An unabashed and frequency silly action-ode to rotting flesh, brain-splattered Sluggers and low-rent indie movie-mania at its finest. Thank you, Mark Poole, for proving that you don’t need money or talent to make a movie, just a town full of fun-loving miscreants. William Girdler and Tod Browning are smiling from above.HITMAN2007; DVD $29.95-$34.95, RFirst video release of a much-anticipated vidgame flick. Super-secret super-assassin Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) becomes embroiled in a political conspiracy, making him vulnerable to both Interpol and the Russians. But who cares?! The real entertainment is in his almost operatic approach to blowing away the bad guys. Co-stars Dougray Scott and lots of Crimean fodder.LIL’ BUSH: RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: SEASON ONE2008; DVD $19.95, URWe had high hopes for this Comedy Central offering that looks at our Resident in Chief as a bad widdle kid, and his horrible presidency as just poor playground manners. They don’t go for the jugular enough in our opinion, but there are some wonderfully sly jabs at his administration — including foul-mouthed Lil’ Cheney — to keep you entertained.NANCY DREW2007; DVD $28.95, PGA fun look at a school-girl favorite, uprooted from her beloved River Heights to L.A. in order to solve the murder of a movie star. With Emma Roberts as the perky sleuth; Josh Flitter as her new pal, Corky; Max Thieriot as her clueless, platonic boyfriend, Ned; and Rachael Leigh Cook as the pivotal hottie.SANDS OF OBLIVION2008; DVD $19.95, URAnother screwy SciFi Channel stinker, this one with Adam “The Big One” Baldwin fighting an Egyptian God, accidentally carried to America along with props for Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 movie “The Ten Commandments!” Big Dumb Fun with Morena Baccarin.SLEUTH2007; DVD $26.95, RWhy anyone would want to remake the 1972 version of this wildly popular stage comedy, which starred Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine, both at the top of their game, is beyond us, but this release from director Kenneth Branagh with Michael Caine in the Olivier role and the insufferable Jude Law in Caine’s is kinda fun.SOUTH PARK: IMAGINATIONLAND2007; DVD $19.95, URThe never-before-seen Director’s Cut of a Comedy Central favorite. When the guys break open the doors to a realm where anything is possible, terrorists attack, sending the worst villains imaginable to end the world. Only Butters can save us! Meanwhile, Cartman looks for justice after a case of “dry balls.”STARGATE: THE ARK OF TRUTH2008; DVD $26.95, URThe first direct-to-vid film treatment of SciFi’s “Stargate SG-1” franchise since that series left the air. The whole Stargate team returns, searching for a weapon to use against the Ori, who are preparing for their final attack on Earth — with a spy in their midst.STOMPIN’2007; DVD $24.95, URNot to be confused with ’07's “Stompin’ The Yard,” this is an Afro-Centric drama about college-aged brothers, nearly estranged because of their father’s preferential treatment of one of them. Stars Shedrack Anderson III, Vanessa Bell Calloway and Sinbad.TIN MAN2007; DVD $24.95, URSciFi Channel’s damned original take on “The Wizard of Oz” tales from L. Frank Baum. Kinda dour and disturbing — which is much more in keeping with Baum’s often subversive tales — it sends a too-hip “D.G.” on a trip through an apocalyptic Oz, seeking an enigmatic holy man, accompanied by a frightening array of new friends.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTAPPLESEED SAGA: EX MACHINA2007; DVD $34.95, PG-13MOST EXTREME: SEASON 12007; DVD $24.95, URMY BOYS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2007; DVD $39.95, URONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE: SEASON 42008; DVD $34.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!